In July, a group of teachers from France, participants in the 2013 Action Scoli’daire Mathematics Event, visited Bhopal to learn about the 1984 gas disaster and community-based health-care projects that help the survivors of the tragedy and subsequent water contamination crisis.
As part of an annual event among Secondary Schools in France, thousands of teachers and students participated in nation-wide maths competitions, with students raising over €50,000 for the BMA to help the children of Bhopal. As part of this inspiring initiative, Alexis Rialt, coordinator of Action Scoli’daire along with Melanie Hadida, from the BMA, organized a visit to Bhopal for some of the teachers who helped to make this fantastic achievement possible.
For 10 days the group stayed at the Sambhavna Trust Clinic, learning about the unique system of holistic health-care delivered to survivors of the gas disaster and those affected by contaminated water. They visited the Oriya Basti School, engaging the students in numerical games and exercises and teaching them how to count to 10 in French!
The group spent most of their time, however, with the children of Chingari Trust Rehabilitation Centre. The story of Rashida Bee and Champa Devi impacted them tremendously and they had the privilege of spending several days at the Centre, engaging with the children, leading sports activites, and lending a hand in the Special Education department. They were extremely touched by the incredible work they observed there and the commitment and dedication of the Chingari staff.
This visit to Bhopal was a way to forge a connection between BMA’s supporters and the Bhopali’s who benefit from this support. It was a meaningful experience for everyone to have the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the current situation in Bhopal today, and the ways in which our supporters can make a difference in the lives of those affected by the gas disaster and ongoing water contamination crisis.